Pre- and Post-crisis Life-Satisfaction and Social Trust in Transitional Countries: An Initial Assessment

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to assess changes of life-satisfaction and trust in transitional countries as well as their interaction resulting from the global economic and financial crisis of 2007, and its aftermath. For all indicators used, the level of life-satisfaction significantly decreased in transitional countries after the crisis. The smallest reduction can be observed in general life-satisfaction, while the reduction was larger for economic satisfaction and for confidence in better life of children. However, change in post-crisis trust experienced a mixed picture. Levels of institutional trust decreased after crisis, while the degree of interpersonal trust increased. Interpersonal trust continued to have a positive impact on life-satisfaction after the crisis, but the magnitude of its effect stagnated during the post-crisis period. Conversely, the significant magnitude of institutional trust effect grew after crisis for all types of indicators used. These findings suggest that both interpersonal and institutional trust, which are used here as indicators of social capital, are powerful resources that can directly improve life-satisfaction during transition. Most importantly, these resources can be employed to mitigate the outcomes of the crisis.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    At the preliminary stages of the study we experimented with creation a binomial variable for distrust which would take value of 1 if respondent replay is “Complete distrust” and “Some distrust” and 0 if otherwise. The results of estimation did not change considerably; the same explanatory variables remain significant with the same sign. Consequently, we decided to stay with the original recoding.

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Correspondence to Nazim Habibov.

Appendices

Appendix 1

See Table 4.

Table 4 Description of variables

Appendix 2

See Table 5.

Table 5 Number of observations by country and round

Appendix 3

See Table 6.

Table 6 Dichotomized life-satisfaction variables before and after the crisis

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Habibov, N., Afandi, E. Pre- and Post-crisis Life-Satisfaction and Social Trust in Transitional Countries: An Initial Assessment. Soc Indic Res 121, 503–524 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11205-014-0640-8

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Keywords

  • Subjective wellbeing
  • Global crisis
  • Transition